Category: story

Persephone Returns!

January 28, 2014

Just two days ago I invoked a number of my deceased friends as part of a ritual performance I had the great honor of performing for the Foundation For Shamanic Studies Council gathering. It was a way of calling out to those who I felt suffered from the lack of any real method of accessing the worlds shamans know so well.


December 26, 2013

As a new dad I was not used to giving up so much of my inner space. I’d already given up the solitude of going to the bathroom alone, did I really need to give up the privacy that sleep offers?

A Burden of Trust

December 13, 2013

We are there again, in that tiny bucket rushing down a river too fast to know where we are going or what is right in front of us.


December 5, 2013

We are a group that has taken a long time to ripen. Not only did we have to survived the wounding of being deeply inspired in a culture that often rejects or eats alive the inspired, we then had to figure out how to support ourselves and perhaps our families…

The Packa Tree

October 16, 2013

Tadg has always called him “Packa”, a little ones abbreviation of the more difficult “Grandpa”. The Packa tree’s ruby red fruit hung for months, darkening to a cherry-black red.

The Fire Story

September 27, 2013

This is one of my favorite stories, but I don’t get to tell it often. Its not a favorite because its happy (its not), or it left me feeling liberated (it didn’t). When I tell it I feel like I have to root around in my insides, scrape it off my rib bones and piece it back together.

Autumn Owl

September 4, 2013

This morning I started dancing at dawn again, I haven’t done it since our little fosterling arrived almost nine months ago. As I spread my arms to the sky I immediately felt the company of Owl…

Crossing To Trust

August 22, 2013

I need to start with the nightmare. I really don’t want to start there, I’d rather not go there at all. After all, its just a little boys dream …

Papa Prayer

June 20, 2013

He comes to me when I’m in the midst of my most mundane parenting tasks. “How would Shaun have done this”, I ask myself. “How can I do this better”, is what I really want to know. Is it possible to cherish my children more?


June 14, 2013

My ancestors had a tradition, some think it came from the time of warring clans, of trading their children. Like many things the ancient Irish did, it sounds a bit barbaric to the modern ear.

When Michael Harner began to read selections from his new book, “Cave and Cosmos” at the most recent Foundation for Shamanic Studies (FSS) Council meeting, I saw spirits surrounding him, supporting him as he read.

The Waters of Forgetting

April 9, 2013

For a brief moment he must have escaped the suffering that was slowly eating his mind away. I wonder if he was being chased by the true knowledge of what it was to be human.

Bend and Twist

March 14, 2013

I dreamed last night someone handed me a large coffee table book titled “The Young Dancer”. It was dark with red lettering, part painted, part smeared blood.

Journeying to the River

February 28, 2013

We modern people stumble to the waters edge by chance. We go there in dreams, on fortunate drug trips, when we slip between living and dying, when our hearts are open, our minds are quiet and the Earth reaches out to us.


January 22, 2013

She is heavier each day, not from the food making her so beautifully stout, but her ability to trust. As we cherish, she arrives more.

End of Days

January 6, 2013

I awoke from the dream knowing there will be an important crossing, but I will make it, albeit alone.

Agencies, institutions and laws do not heal people, that much is clear. At best they can provide opportunities for transformation, guide books, the names of mentors, directions to journey in. They are not in and of themselves, healing. That is the work of our fellow human beings, and the compassionate spirits who offer their wisdom and support.

The Faucet

December 7, 2012

My Mother never asked me for a favor like this before. “I need you to help me buy a kitchen sink faucet from a salesman….

Harvest Moon of the Maker

October 2, 2012

I got to make a friend a Shillelagh this past week from an oak in our grove. A special gift, I empowered it using shamanic techniques, some taught by the Foundation for Shamanic Studies and some by Tom Cowan.

Dream Healing Time Travel

September 22, 2012

The five of us were crammed in the back of an old Lincoln heading over a cable bridge just past sunrise. The river was low from the long summer, the morning light made perfect diamonds flicker across its surface.

The Journey to Now.

September 11, 2012

I’ve come to see my journeys as a way of moving within the spirit of the Earth more freely, I’ve even been thinking of the spirit world as her consciousness.


September 5, 2012

I’ve been going through some tremendous healing lately. Almost nightly as I dream, my heart is being mended and remade. Scabs I never thought would come off, turn to dust as I rise for morning chores. This has been going on for weeks now, I don’t want it to stop. Ever.

The suffering that our western culture has wrought in this world is due in part, I believe, to the oppression of our own innate ability to access the spiritual dimension of our world. We perpetuate that distortion of ourselves every day, by denying the presence of the spirits.

The Bump

August 14, 2012

Real change does not feel soft. Its a bump – a big bump, that moves your life ten feet in a direction you never expected.


July 11, 2012

This is also the fifth day we’ve been fostering a toddler at our home. When we said yes to taking her in we didn’t know if it would be for two days, six months or the rest of our lives.

Scavengers First

June 6, 2012

When you live on land thats been abused and neglected, you get to know the scavengers first. Ants, yellow jackets, black widows, gophers and coyotes were the residents when we first arrived.

Attracting Wild Geese

May 22, 2012

Still high from watching Dan Barber’s Ted talk: foie gras parable, I’d come up with a phrase to illuminate a theme in his talk on a new way to approach raising food: self-reinforcing magical-delight synergistic loop.


April 17, 2012

Fog’s powerful presence has existed on our Earth for billions of years. It has inspired innumerable mystics and likely served the spirits in ways we can’t even begin to understand

Deep Politeness

March 8, 2012

Later in the dream I became that young self, chased by my mischievous big sister on a sunny day, hysterical joy overwhelming me as I tried to keep up with my feet.

The Mighty Mighty Seed

January 31, 2012

I get to live in green. When I drive home, I pass farms and oak groves. I wake up to a forest floating on an emerald green understory that will become ignited at sunset when the orange tipped leaves of the native Pajaro manzanita turn into a million dancing candles.

My Ratatoullie

January 18, 2012

You were born to journey, like some of us were born to cook. One of my favorite Pixar movies, “Ratatouille”, covers this topic well.

My Mud Dancer

January 11, 2012

They never tell you, when you get married, that part of your job is to inspire your spouse. I thought mostly about what I was getting out of the deal when I said ‘I do,’ not so much about what new things I’d have to give, and what old things I’d have to get rid of.


January 2, 2012

I was shown that a community that has lost its imagination has lost its connection to life itself. Life innovates. Endlessly creative, it expresses diversity and change at every opportunity, it provides us with the creative power to transform our world.

Sustainable Me

December 12, 2011

I used to think sustainability was all about what the land could support season after season without undue toxic amendment by us. As the space between the land and me diminishes, I’m learning that sustainability doesn’t mean a lot without including what I can sustain.


November 8, 2011

I want every day to feel like this, maybe you have a time of season and place that feel that way to you. Ever since I was a child this is the time of year that makes me feel like I belong here and now, I feel loved.

Teaching from the Ashes

November 2, 2011

At my Dad’s memorial service a little over a year ago, I learned that his father found his true calling as a high school shop teacher after having graduated with a degree in mathematics during the Great Depression.

True Harvest

October 18, 2011

I’m struck by the feeling of newness+oldness this time of year brings. Life bursts forth while ancient energies abound. Like practicing shamanic techniques in a modern culture, old and new are intimately entwined.

The Ways We Wound

October 11, 2011

The goal in such instances is always the same: to separate us from our own innate ability to discover the spiritual dimension of life, especially as it empowers us to survive and thrive as individuals and communities.

This Autumn is different than any other, I felt it for certain this morning. Usually I don’t notice the spirits of the land speaking this loudly until late in October. The potency of this season catches me off guard time and time again.

Embracing Lunacy

August 16, 2011

Lunacy overcame me this morning at about 1am. Laying in bed I was intensely aware of pockets of decay in my own spirit, and the palpable full moon energy showering me with its blessings. This is the second full moon in as many months to offer me energy to help in late night transformative work.

Sovereign Debt

August 9, 2011

Does the earth know debt? Can debt exist within the ever renewing cycles of life? We’ve been creating a deficit with the earth for decades, through our farming practices.

Its About The Beets

July 26, 2011

Amazing foods have been hiding behind our industrial farming complex. Not just veggies like beets that have been packaged so far beyond their original form as to be unrecognizable as food.


July 19, 2011

I’ve come to believe traveling is unnatural in some way. If you really live somewhere, you leave a part of yourself behind when you go.The more invested in our homestead I become, the more it feels like I have to break myself up into pieces as I go. “I can’t take the compost part with me, defiantly not the chicken coop-cleaner part.”

Knotted Me

July 5, 2011

Last night I found myself sitting up late again, grateful for the blanket of post-midnight darkness. It seems like every few nights I have new knot in myself to sort through.

Bien Now

June 28, 2011

The bien of the land requires the same attention and consideration. When it makes its presence known it is time to really show up and pay attention. As the years roll by I expect to be absorbed more and more into that presence.


June 14, 2011

Every step holds the potential for a new beginning, that’s one of the things dance taught me. If you’re really dancing, you’re on an edge that can lead you in any direction.

Chainsaw Wisdom

May 9, 2011

They’re called wake-up calls. When nothing else will bump us out of the groove we’re stuck in, life delivers something that will. In my case a newly sharpened chainsaw served as the messenger.

You Died A Year Ago Today

April 11, 2011

I have dreamed of you more in the last year than I’ve ever dreamed of you before. Always crystal clear, sometimes laughing, sometimes imparting mysterious messages, a few times crying harder than I knew you could cry.

Tsunami 2011

March 15, 2011

The final waves of the Japanese Tsunami of 2011 arrived in Monterey in the form of a three foot swell. The Earths vibration traveled over 5,000 miles before it touched our shore, swamped boat harbors and drove some of us to higher ground.

February Seal Pup

February 15, 2011

I dreamed about a seal pup last night, it was scrawny, groggy and a little snippy – just like I felt. It was the day after my first February swim in the Pacific.